Traina Appointed to Maritime Advisory Committee

LISBON, Ohio – Penny Traina, CEO of the Columbiana County Port Authority, has been named to a national maritime advisory committee.

She is one of 25 appointees to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee announced Monday by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Two additional members will be appointed at a future date. 

The MTSNAC’s objective is to identify and seek solutions to impediments to short sea transportation, and to provide information, advice and recommendations to the transportation secretary.

Traina is one of two Ohioans named to the committee on Monday. The other is Aimee Andres of Cincinnati, executive director of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association in that city.

The MTSNAC has 22 members from public and private entities and five senior federal employees from various agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, various ports and corporations.

Prior to assuming her current position in 2016 as the Columbian port authority’s CEO, Traina was on its board of directors from 2012 through 2015, having previously served 18 years in public administration, including as a Columbiana County commissioner.

She said her position on the national maritime committee will further one of the primary goals she had when first hired by the CCPA: marketing the Ohio River. 

“When I got the position at the port authority, I felt as if the Ohio River was undermarketed, and that has been one of my goals since 2016: to market it and show that mode of transport as the cheapest. It’s been a team effort with our board. We got the statistical port approved. We’re all coming together for the betterment of Ohio.”

Traina said one of the advantages of being named to the committee is having the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and talk about the importance of the Ohio River and this region.

“It gives us a seat at the table to learn about what’s going on in the maritime world, but what I know best is the Ohio River, so I think we can also bring a lot to the table,” Traina said.

The committee meets at least three times each fiscal year. Traina will take part in a teleconference meeting at the end of June, followed by her first in-person meeting in the nation’s capital Aug. 30-31.

“I’m pretty excited,” she said. “I thank Secretary Buttigieg and all of my partners up and down the Ohio River [for this opportunity].”

In announcing the appointments, Buttigieg said the MTSNAC’s counsel “comes at a critical time, when the Biden administration’s top economic priority is tackling inflation and reducing costs for American families. 

“The new members will serve on the MTSNAC during the implementation of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, when addressing supply chains and moving goods to market has never been more important,” he said in a prepared statement. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.